Thursday, May 7, 2009

Now, we're talkin'

If you’ve been reading this blog with any regularity, you know we are not down with much of the Green Revolution. Contrary to what its proponents would have you believe, its green technologies are subject more to politics than hard science and the green movement as a whole has taken on a fundamentalist religious aspect to it that kind of weirds us out a bit.

Now having said that, if there is one aspect of the green movement that we are onboard with, precisely because it has, thus far, escaped the pratfalls described above, it is the “building green” movement. Building green as in, building structures that require a minimum of resources and are sustained on a minimum of consumption of resources.

Maybe because most of us live in houses and have to pay bills and wonder how it is that we can cut expenses… you know… real-life stuff is the reason that the building green movement has maintained its pragmatism and commitment to actual results.

And because building green has resulted in quantifiable results, it has managed to avoid governmental mandatory-ism.

The best example that we have actually experienced is the headquarters structure at Zion National Park in Utah. They make liberal use of cooling towers and low hanging eaves/awnings over the big picture windows that block the high sun in the summer but allow in the rays of the low sun in the winter all in order to regulate temperature with zero moving parts.

Linked here is an hour-long PBS doc on just what is “building green” and how building green isn’t about tacking-on green stuff to your structure but about a holistic below-ground-up philosophy to building and sustaining structures.

What we liked most about this doc is the people featured aren’t a bunch of wackos, zealots or dopes looking for a government grant. They’re pragmatic, problem-solving Americans that we can take seriously.


Foxfier said...

You know...when my folks were kids, this wasn't "building green"-- this was "finding a way to build better houses."

I can almost hear my Papa Ralph:
"So, you are building a house that's better at staying warm in the winter without as much wood, and cool in the summer without any fans, and you avoid problems like running out of hot water or the pipes freezing? But the only way you can get people to buy them is to tell them the world will end if they don't act to save the Earth?" Pause while you nod and blush. "Son, I think you might want to hire a salesman... if you can't sell that in a town full of Irish, you can't sell whiskey to a drunk...."

Dean said...

Spot on, Foxie.

Anonymous said...

What? No props for my water bottle in the toilet tank tip??

That is a great building at Zion -- though I think that is more appropriately named the "Visitors Center". I think Park HQ is elsewhere.

- Mongo Now Foaming at the Mouth For a Return Trip to Zion